Central Oregon Waterways - Dreamstime
Central Oregon is considered the semi-arid High Desert, but it is not without rivers. There are three major ones, the Metolius, Crooked, and Deschutes. They all merge into the Deschutes at Lake Billy Chinook, a huge reservoir created by the construction of Round Butte hydrolelectric dam. Designated as the Cove Palisades, it is a recreation hot spot and scenic wonder with its towering canyon walls.
The Deschutes River originates in the Cascades, and flows through Bend, Oregon, on its way to the Columbia Gorge some hundred miles north.
The Crooked River twists its way around the base of Smith Rock, an eroding volcano or towering 500 foot high walls now internationally popular with rock climbers.
Below Round Butte Dam, Lake Billy Simtustus is the next man-made reservoir, a mirror-calm pond surrounded by parched hills.
One of the major tributaries of the Deschutes River is Tumalo Creek, highlighted by Tumalo Falls, 10 miles west of Bend, Oregon.
Photo credits: Dana Kenneth Johnson.
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